What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, discovered in this matter? 2 If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about—but not before God. 3 What does Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”
If it isn’t clear yet, one of the big takeaways from Paul’s letter to the Romans is this: we cannot be good on our own. Our works – the things we do – simply aren’t good enough. It doesn’t matter how hard we try, how much money we give, how many puppies we rescue, or how many times we say “gosh darn” instead of the alternative. We can try and try and try…but ultimately our actions are not what make us good.
God makes us good. Having faith in Him allow His goodness to overcome our sin.
Why is that? It is not because we are horrible people; but rather because God is THAT good. His goodness (righteousness, holiness) is unattainable and any time we think that our efforts can somehow ‘earn’ God’s love, we are totally missing the point.
Abraham, the father of our faith, was seen by Jesus’s contemporary Jews as a man who was justified by his good works. In this section, Paul is saying that Abraham indeed was NOT good because of what he did; rather it was because of his faith in the one makes us people good. Abraham’s belief was ‘credited’ as righteousness (Charlie).
Thoughts for the day
- What do you put your faith in?
- Is your ‘goodness’ a credit from God or something that you have earned?
- What sin are you struggling with in your life? How can you overcome it according to this passage?
Be still and wait patiently for God (Psalm 37:7).